Lp(a) is a lipoprotein that is similar to LDL. Like LDL, it contains an apo B molecule and a cholesterol rich lipid core. However, unlike LDL, Lp(a) has a unique sugar protein on its surface which makes it much more likely to cause blood clotting. On a standard cholesterol test, the estimated LDL contains both Lp(a) and other particles. These are not reported separately but rather as part of the total LDL cholesterol concentration. This renders risk assessment difficult, because Lp(a) responds to therapy differently than does LDL and confers a different cardiovascular risk.
Lipoprotein (a) [(Lp(a)] blood levels are mostly determined by inherited genes. Elevated levels of LP(a) are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease and the development of blood clots, including deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolus.